Digital Marketing

How to do market research for my online business

Ever wondered what market research is and how it helps you grow your online business? Or have you been asked for for your opinion on a business idea, but have no idea what to say?

Fear not — I'll share my top tips with you on how to do market research for your own business.

Set realistic goals.

You must set realistic goals. Do not aim for something that is too large or vague. Set a specific goal and keep in mind your long term objective.

To set realistic goals, you need to know what you want to achieve. Be specific with your goals and define them in terms of the outcomes that you wish to achieve.


Analyse your website traffic.

  • Google Analytics is an essential tool for any website owner, but it can be difficult to use. It's helpful to understand what data you're looking at and how it might help you make good decisions about your business.
  • Google Analytics provides metrics that show the performance of your site: how many people come to your site, the time they spend on it, where they go when they leave (or "bounce"), and other relevant information. You can find these numbers in a number of places within your account.
  • You should know exactly how much traffic you're getting—to gain insight into what kinds of content are popular or not so popular with readers/viewers/customers—and whether those visitors are converting into leads or sales (i.e., making purchases). This data will give you insights into what types of products drive the most revenue for your business.

Be patient and ask questions

  • Make sure you have time to get quality results
  • Ask a lot of people, and make sure they're representative of your target market. It's best to ask 100 or more questions to ensure that enough answers come back, but if you don't have the time for that much research, at least ask about 10-15 questions that are important to your business. To get good results from online surveys, do them during off-peak hours when most people are available and not distracted by other things.
  • Ask specific questions
  • Get feedback from customers and from people who are not customers
  • Make sure you get enough responses to be able to draw conclusions
  • Make sure the survey is anonymous

Conduct competitor research

The first step in doing market research is to look at what your competitors are doing. You need to know who they are, what they offer and how they're getting results.

There are several ways you can do this:

  • Check Google's top results from searching basic queries like "online business" or "online marketing services."
  • Search social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for mentions of your competitors.
  • Search review sites like Yelp or Tripadvisor for customer experiences with their businesses.

Create surveys.

The next step is to create surveys. Surveys are an incredibly helpful way to get customer feedback, but you have to make sure they're useful and relevant. If your survey asks customers about their favourite colour, or what their favourite animal is, it's going to be very difficult for them to answer. This can also be done by creating a questionnaire that's too long or doesn't seem important enough—if the questions are too vague or don't seem like they matter much then customers won't take the time out of their day to fill out the form!

Make sure your survey questions are clear and easy for people who aren't familiar with your industry or niche market (e.g., "What do you think about our new product?" instead of "What do YOU think about OUR NEW PRODUCT"). Using a tool like Google Forms makes it super easy: just fill out all of your information into one place!

Afterward, update as needed based on results from previous surveys so that each year has its own unique prompts rather than trying something different every month (which can lead nowhere fast).


Finally make sure that people know how easy they'll need no longer apply - you wouldn't want someone looking up directions at home only halfway through because now there's no need anymore due to advancements in technology.

Do keyword research.

A good keyword is one that your potential customers are actually searching for, but which you can rank well for in Google.

Once you've found a relevant keyword, it's time to look at the competition around it and see what kind of results you could get if you were to rank better than everyone else who's trying to sell their product or service on this same topic.

There are plenty of tools available online that will give you information on all these areas - including how much traffic there is around a particular phrase (and therefore how many people might be interested in buying what you're selling), as well as how competitive it is.

Check out social media analytics.

Social media is an excellent source for market research. You can get a lot of information about what people are saying about your industry by checking out social media analytics on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Other great sources include Google Analytics (for more information on this tool, check out our article) and looking at your competitors' social media pages to see what their followers are saying about them. You can also search for relevant groups or pages on Facebook that focus on your industry or business type to see what people are talking about in those communities.


There are plenty of online tools that will allow you to do market research without breaking the bank.

There are plenty of online tools that will allow you to do market research without breaking the bank. Some of them include:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Trends
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Facebook insights

Other options include: Twitter analytics, LinkedIn analytics, keyword tools such as Ubersuggest and SEMrush, Surveymonkey/Typeform/Twitter polls/Instagram polls. You can also use Google forms and surveys or social media analytics programs such as Hootsuite.